Published: Fri, August 09, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Billionaire: Epstein misappropriated 'vast sums' from wealth

Billionaire: Epstein misappropriated 'vast sums' from wealth

Epstein, meanwhile, is embroiled in a new scandal: He now faces additional charges of sex-trafficking and misconduct, with prosecutors in NY alleging that he paid girls as young as 14 hundreds of dollars for massages before molesting them at his homes in NY and Palm Beach, Fla., from 2002 through 2005.

The letter was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which put the amount of misappropriated money at more than $46 million.

He also says Wexner could have set up electronic alerts so he knew every time a payment or transfer was made. Wexner did not address that allegation in the letter.

The founder and chief executive of L Brands Inc. told members of his Wexner Foundation that the missing funds were uncovered after Mr. Wexner decided in 2007 to sever ties with Mr. Epstein.

In a letter to his namesake foundation, Wexner reflected on his decades-long relationship with his former financier, condemning the actions Epstein has been accused of and noting that he was "sickened by the revelations". "In that process, we discovered that he had misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family".

While the two had previously been described as "close personal friends", Wexner last month said that he "regretted" ever crossing paths with Epstein and that he "completely severed" all ties with Epstein 12 years ago.

"Here in this particular case involving Wexner and Epstein, it certainly seems like none of these steps were taken", Tenenbaum says.

"This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now", Wexner wrote.

On July 16, Wexner made his first comments on Epstein in an internal memo to L Brands employees in which the chairman explained he was "NEVER aware" of Epstein's illegal activity and that his sympathy goes out to the victims. He had met Epstein "through friends who vouched for and recommended him as a knowledgeable financial professional", according to the letter. That foundation accepted an $11.2 million donation from the Wexner Children's Trust in 2002 and $10 million from the Leslie H. Wexner Charitable Fund in 2004.

"We discovered that he had misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family", Mr. Wexner wrote in a letter Wednesday to the foundation.

That trust included a so-called power of attorney, which enabled Epstein to hire people, sign cheques, buy and sell properties, and borrow money - all on Wexner's behalf. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison but served only 13 months in a private wing of the Palm Beach County Jail, and he was allowed to work in an office six days a week.

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